We are proud to partner in a nationwide effort to educate the public about communication disorders launched by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). Called Identify the Signs, this campaign specifically aims to help people recognize the early warning signs of communication disorders.
This topic couldn’t be timelier—or more important.
An estimated 40 million Americans have trouble speaking or hearing due to a communication disorder. Millions more family members and friends are also impacted. Here in Houston, there are parents reading this whose children are struggling to speak or understand language; spouses living with partners whose hearing is deteriorating; and co-workers, neighbors and others who see someone who needs help but don’t know what to do.
Identify the Signs offers tools to change that, and I couldn’t support the campaign more. With over 15 years years of experience working in the field of pediatric hearing loss, and as the Director of Audiology for CHS, I have seen the debilitating effects that these issues can have when left unaddressed. Too often, children wrestle with these challenges for years because they fail to receive proper, timely treatment. Early detection of hearing loss is absolutely critical to a child's academic success, social skills and future career possibilities.
Through a series of TV, radio, print, digital public service announcements, and the campaign website as well as local efforts we're making for children with hearing loss, the public can learn about the warning signs and be connected to professional help. I encourage you to visit the Identify The Signs website, and share the information and resources you find there, or on the CHS website!
If you suspect that your child or a child you know shows signs of a communication disorder, I hope you will take the first step and have their hearing tested at CHS. Every day, I see in my work that untreated hearing loss often leads to larger learning and developmental issues. Early diagnosis is the most powerful way to ensure that you loved ones will be able to communicate and lead the fullest lives possible.
-Dr. Jennifer Wickesberg-Summers, Au.D., CCC-A Director of Audiology Certified Listening and Spoken Language Specialist The Center for Hearing and Speech